Phew, Friday! It’s been quite a week and I’m glad to be reaching the end of it.
Started out with Finn catching a bug from school and you know how it is with multiple kids at home, germs multiply faster than a warm petri dish. I told Finn not to touch his little brother but he would forget and try to kiss him or pat him on the head with his drippy germy mucus fingers and I’d be like “NOOOOOOOOO” but then it’d be too late so sighhh, party on, germfest, I’ll bring the champagne.
On Tuesday evening, the inevitable happened. Theo started having a runny nose and phleghmy cough and a temperature so we brought him to the paediatrician for a consult. Turns out that whenever newborns have a fever above 38.1, it’s considered a case of neonatal pyrexia, which requires immediate medical attention. We were told to rush him to KKH to be warded. At the hospital, the doctors told us that they would watch him for 24 hours and if the temperature stays above 38, they would have to do a whole bunch of tests like a lumbar puncture (major ouch!), multiple blood tests, a drip, a chest something something…it all sounded really painful.
That first night in the hospital was miserable. Baby Theo cried and cried and cried and cried all night long. He was fluish, he couldn’t breathe, he struggled to drink, refused to sleep and when I finally managed to get him to doze off, the nurses would come in to take his temperature/bp and he’d wake up and cry all over again.
When the on call doctor came in at 4 in the morning, I was so high, I was seriously trippin. She was asking me all these questions that my brain couldn’t process. “Siblings…medical history…temperature…allergies…words…words…words…” I think she figured I was mentally challenged because I kept stoning out and I would stare at here in silence for extended periods before replying with “um…sorry, what?” In that state, I wouldn’t have been able to recognise my mother if she walked into the room. At one point, she said, “this is really important, we need this information to make a proper diagnosis” and I was all “yes ma’am!” Just give me a shot of coffee and a slap in the head, I’ll be fine. No, in fact, all I wanted to do was lie down and cry.
When you’re stretched beyond your physical and emotional and metal limits, sometimes you just want to wallow and feel sorry for yourself. At least I do. That felt like a perfect time to wallow.
But wallowing never did any good to anyone so instead, I held my sad baby and walked and prayed and forced myself to think about all the things to be grateful for.
1. His temperature was going down, which meant he didn’t have to do any of those scary. painful tests. Every temperature check that fell below 38 degrees was one step towards recovery. So each time they took his temperature and it recorded 37.8 or 37.6 or 37.5, I’d celebrate and give my baby a hi-5.
2. The baby next door had a code blue situation (there was an announcement, like “Attention all medical staff, code blue in room 12, I repeat, code blue in room 12…”) and I couldn’t imagine what it must have felt like for that baby’s momma, it’s heartbreaking. At that moment, I was just thankful that my baby was getting better.
3. The nurses took amazing care of Theo. They would carry him and talk to him and try to make him smile.
4. We had a really nice room at the hospital. It was full so they put us in a huge isolation room that felt homely and comfy. Ok, trivial, but definitely a huge boost for morale.
5. After 2 days, his temperature returned to normal and we were allowed to go home. For that, I was most grateful.
It’s good to be home.